We did “King of the Ring” tonight in tae kwon do. The school is hosting a tournament on May 19th, so we’ve been prepping for that. In tournaments, if there is a tied score during a sparring round, they go to ‘sudden death’…where the first point scored wins. King of the Ring is a game to practice ‘sudden death’ skills. Two students go to the center of the ring, bow, shake hands, and step apart. The instructor says, ‘ready…go’. The first person to score a solid body or head kick stays in the ring. The loser leaves the ring, and the next contender enters the ring. The goal is to be the last person in the ring.
I had been paired with a yellow belt for sparring drills to help her with her drills, so the two of us got called up first. Which I think was unfair to the yellow belt, because usually we progress in size and belt order. But the yellow belt was the tallest female in the class, so we looked evenly matched size wise. I pretty easily scored a point. The female green belt came in, and she is never a very aggressive sparring partner, so I pretty easily scored against her. She seemed happy to leave the ring. The female blue belt came in, and was much more aggressive than I’ve ever seen her. That wound up being a pretty good match and we exchanged several kicks without scoring a body point. Eventually, I got the point, and she went out.
That was all the female students, so the next person to come into the ring with me was an MMA student who was cross training in tae kwon do. He’s in his twenties, 5’11”, two hundred some pounds, boxer. But, in King of the Ring, only kicks score points, and his kicks are what he’s in tkd to work on. Since he couldn’t punch me, I stood a chance. Plus, I could tell he was trying to kick me to score a point, but without putting his full force into his kick so that he didn’t hurt me. A fact which I really appreciated, since if he did land a full force kick on my little self, he would have laid me out.
We threw kicks back and forth, but I couldn’t land a kick on his body; he kept blocking. And since he was trying to pull the force of his kicks, they were just slow enough that I could evade them. Finally, I noticed that because of his boxing training, he always kept his hands high, up near his face. I thought I could get a quick front snap kick in under his elbows to his low gut. So, I threw a fast snap kick in low….at the same time that he stepped forward….and my kick landed several inches lower than its intended target. Several *significant* inches lower.
Later, when he could talk again, he said it was the first time he had ever forgotten to wear certain protective equipment. I bet it will be the last time he forgets. I never saw such a large man go down so quickly. He went down and he stayed down. He spit out his mouth guard so that he could breathe. He tried to struggle to his feet, only to stagger across the gym and collapse again against the far wall.
I went out of the ring on a disqualification.